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How Often Should You Bath Your Dog?

3, March 2024

How Often Should You Bath Your Dog?

If you’re wondering how often you should bath your dog, the answer might just be ‘not as often as you think’. Good old Nature means canine coats can usually take care of themselves – but that doesn’t stop some dogs leaping into muddy puddles (or worse!) at any opportunity. Sometimes, you just need to reach for the dog shampoo – but every dog is different, and there are some important points to bear in mind when it comes to bathing your furry friend.

When should you first bath your puppy?

Puppies are famously messy beasts, so we know the temptation to give them a thorough wash can be real. But it’s really important not to bath your adorable new addition too early; unlike adult dogs, young puppies can’t regulate their temperature, meaning a bath could leave them feeling chilly and open to sickness. Most experts recommend waiting until a puppy has reached at least eight weeks of age before giving it its first bath, but it’s best to double-check with your vet. If your puppy does get mucky before the eight-week mark, you can gently wipe dirt away from their coat with a warm, damp cloth.

How often should you bath your adult dog?

Generally, you should bath your dog as little as possible. Dogs produce natural oils that help keep their skin and coat in good condition – bathing them too often can strip these oils away, which can lead to dry skin or irritation.

But just like people, dogs are all unique – and different dogs have different bathing needs. Certain breeds produce more of those protective oils than others, and longer-haired hounds will naturally pick up more dirt than their smooth-coated cousins. Where you (and your dog) live is another factor: countryside canines are more likely to end up caked in mud than city-dwelling pups, for example.

As a general rule, you should bath a dog every two to three months (unless, of course, there are extenuating circumstances, e.g. they’ve just been joyously rolling in fox poo.) If you’re not sure, of course, you should always ask your vet.

What dog shampoo should I use?

Choosing the right shampoo for your pooch can be overwhelming. Yes, we're biased, but if you’re already using naturally-derived shampoo to wash your own hair, you might like to consider using a similar product for your pet. Our range of cruelty-free, vegan dog shampoo is formulated to suit different kinds of canines. The gentle Chamomile Dog Shampoo is perfect for puppies, while the deeply cleansing Lavender Dog Shampoo is exactly what you need should any fox poo incidents occur. Our Coconut Dog Shampoo is designed for curly coats and knotty nightmares. And for those who want to cut down on plastic, you can buy dog shampoo in bulk with our larger-sized refills, our go for the zero waste Coconut Dog Shampoo Bar. To get the full lowdown, read this blog we made earlier: Find the Right Shampoo for Your Dog.

How to Help Dogs Enjoy Bath-time

When you’re a human being, few things are more relaxing than a good soak. Sadly, many dogs do not feel the same way about bath-time. For them, having a bath is often the opposite to a calming experience. We asked our Instagram followers to share their top tips on helping their four-legged friends chill out in the tub. From serenading to strategically-smeared peanut butter, there are some fascinating ideas! Read them all here: 5 Ways to Keep Dogs Calm at Bathtime.